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DNS ShareCenter - Optimal Disk Hibernate Settings

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JavaLawyer:
What is the best hard disk hibernation time for my DNS ShareCenter?

Answer

There are many competing theories on this subject. The answer depends on which school of thought you follow. Spinning-up a hard drive creates stress on the spindle motors, which over time could shorten life expectancy. That said, keeping a drive in a constant spin-state will increases heat generation and creates other forms of stress that may impact life expectancy. Meanwhile, there's another school of thought that says that hard drives are designed to spin up/down, and are rated for x number of spin up/down cycles, so using these cycles is considered normal use.

Examining one extreme, spinning up/down every 10-15 minutes 24x7 is worse for your hard drives than keeping them in a constant spin state.

The first time a hibernating hard drive is accessed, there will be a nominal delay (8 to 10 seconds) while the hard drive spins-up. After this initial delay, the hard drives will access normally until the next hibernation event.

Depending on your ShareCenter device usage patterns and hibernation settings, hibernation may impact productivity. For example, if a ShareCenter device is accessed three times per hour, with a hibernation time of 10 minutes, then there is a strong likelihood that the hard drives will be spun-down before each access attempt, causing a 10 second delay 100% of the time. If the hibernation time is increased from 10 minutes to 45 minutes, then the hard drive will be spun-up most (if not all) of the time, eliminating the delay. Alternatively, a 10 minute hibernation may be appropriate if you access the ShareCenter device only once per hour.

If you chose to use hibernation, adjust the hibernation timing to meet your usage habits. Selecting the correct balance will minimize disruption to productivity, maximize energy savings, and minimize hard drive wear and tear.

Some users leave the hard drive spinning 24x7, while others opt to minimize the hard drive spin time.. Although there is no definitive right or wrong way of configuring hibernation time, you should avoid setting the hibernation delay so low that the hard drives are constantly spinning up and down every few minutes.

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